Lords Constitution Committee to hear from former Cabinet Secretaries

09 July 2012

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will this week hear from four former Cabinet Secretaries as part of their inquiry into the accountability of civil servants.

The Committee will take evidence from:

• Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, Cabinet Secretary, 1979-1987,
• Lord Wilson of Dinton, Cabinet Secretary, 1998-2002,
• Lord Turnbull, Cabinet Secretary, 2002-2005,
• Lord O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary, 2005-2011.

Also giving evidence will be Dave Penman, General Secretary of the First Division Association.

The witnesses are likely to be asked about the government’s plans for civil service reform, and the proposal that Ministers should have a right to select permanent secretaries from a shortlist presented to them. They may also be asked about the relationship between civil servants and Parliament, and in what circumstances it would be appropriate for civil servants to be more directly accountable to the legislature.

The evidence sessions will take place on Wednesday 11 July in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords. The session with Dave Penman will start at 10:30am. Evidence from the former Cabinet Secretaries will start at 11:00am with each witness giving evidence separately and in turn for about 20 minutes each.